BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said he had warned a ministerial colleague who is in the eye of a storm for making a controversial statement about "upper caste women".
Tribal leader and minister Bisahulal Singh had kicked up a storm while speaking about women and their chores in the backdrop of societal strata while addressing a gathering in Anuppur district on Wednesday.
"Big people like Thakur, Thakar and some other big people keep their women confined to homes and don't let them go out," while "women (from the lower strata of society) in our villages work in the fields and also do household chores", he had said.
"Pull out the women of big people - Thakur from their homes. Will this not make them march ahead" he had questioned.
In a statement issued on Sunday, CM Chouhan said, "I had just called Bisahulal Singh ji. He has publicly apologised for his statement. Whatever the sentiment, the message should not go wrong. Every word should be spoken carefully. I have warned that such statements should not be given under any circumstances."
Chouhan further said the expression of such feelings, which send a wrong message to the people, will not be forgiven whoever the person may be, adding that "respect of mother, sister and daughter is paramount for the BJP, its government and for me".
MP BJP president VD Sharma also apologised for the tribal leader's statement and called it unfortunate.
"It is unfortunate. This should not have happened. If his (Singh's) statement hurts the sentiments of any section of the society, as state party president, I apologise on behalf of the party," Sharma told reporters.
Singh, who had apologised earlier as well, once again issued a video during the day expressing regret.
The statement had earned the ire of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena, which had burnt an effigy of the minister on Friday and had encircled his car and shown him black flags on Saturday.
Congress MLA Jaivardhan Singh, himself a Thakur, had also condemned the statement of Singh, incidentally a one-time loyalist of the former's father and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh.
Bisahulal had crossed over from the Congress to the BJP last year.